I was blessed to be able to attend the 2016 Prophecy Watchers Convention in Colorado Springs a week or so ago. And with some of the top prophecy experts on hand to lend their expertise on the subject of Bible prophecy, it was a mind blowing experience to say the least. I was privileged to listen to Gary Stearman, Derek Gilbert, L.A. Marzulli, Paul McQuire, Avi Lipkin and Joseph Farah just to mention a few. I also met people who had traveled from as far away as the UK, Canada, New York and Hawaii just to be at this conference. And with so much information in such a short period of time my head is still spinning but I wanted to share at least some of it with you. Especially some of the thoughts I have had in the days following this incredible event.
One of the first speakers I had the privilege of listening to was *Gary Stearman on the subject of the final, last or terminal generation. Which posed the question – are we the last generation? All the signs seem to say so but is there any way that we can know for sure?
The Last Generation
Jesus himself used this terminology in his famous discourse from Matthew 24 regarding the signs of the end of the age.
“Even so when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.” Matthew 24: 33,34
As you can see there is a generation that will see the fulfillment of all the things that Jesus spoke of. A generation unlike any other for it will be this generation that sees (in its completion) the second coming of Jesus. And what is more Jesus himself gives us an important clue (actually two) as to when it might be and the time frame in which to look for it -so that when it happens, we will recognize it … Jesus never intended for us to be clueless or in the dark about something so important as the time of his return.
The Terminal Generation
Thank you to Mr Stearman who pointed out in his presentation “The Prophecy of the Last Generation” that the term”final, last or literally terminal generation” is used 6 times in the Old Testament and is most likely what Jesus was referring to in his Matthew 24 discourse. Here Jesus uses the term in reference to the generation that would be alive at the time of his second coming …. a generation that would not pass away until everything that he had spoken of had been fulfilled.
The Lesson of the Fig Tree
As many of you know the key to all of these events, the opening kick off you might say is the restoration of Israel and the Jewish people to the land. This is an unmistakable marker that places us squarely on the road to the second coming of Jesus Christ. Consider these words:
“Now learn this lesson from the fig tree. As soon as its twigs get tender and it leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door.” Matthew 24:32,33.
The fig tree according to the Bible is representative of national Israel. We find this in Hosea 9:10 and Jeremiah 24:5. Therefore, when Jesus speaks about the fig tree budding again he is speaking of Israel which had been desolate and pretty much dead up until this past century for the past 2,000 years. Which is really no surprise as Jesus had cursed the fig tree in Matthew 21:19 for not bearing fruit.
“Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it,’ May you never bear fruit again! Immediately, the fig tree withered.”
That may seem strange to us cursing the tree for not bearing fruit …. but you see every living creature (humans, animals and plants) are all designed to bear fruit. Nations too. And when a nation does not bear fruit God will in due time cut them off. Which should give us Americans great cause for concern for we have squandered the incredible blessings we have been give with scarcely a second thought. But then again, what is a nation but the people within who make it up. A nation is only as righteous as the people inside it.
In 1897 the first Zionist Congress was held in Basel, Swiitzerland urging a home for Jews in Palestine. This became the first budding of the fig tree. And the Lord true to promise established his people back in the land with the official birth of Israel in 1948 and the restablishment of Jerusalem as the capital of the newly born country following the six day war in 1967. Green leaves and buds appearing.
It occurred to me that the push to create a Palestinian state with the division of Jerusalem as the capital for both is one of the preeminant signs for the second coming of Jesus. And of course, only a fool would believe that should this division actually take place that the Jews would be allowed to live in safety – for the “forces that be” will not be satisfied until the Jewish state is no longer in existence and every Jew is dead. Leaving the nation of Israel “the fig tree” with no possibility of bearing the fruit that God so desires to see. Which is of course their intention.
The Days of Noah
In Matthew 24, Jesus states that in the days before his coming it will be “as in the days of Noah” and while that entails much more than can be contained in this short article, we can easily see that the days of Noah lasted exactly 120 years. We find this in Genesis chapter 6 verse 3 where God says:
My Spirit will not contend with man forever for he is mortal, his days will be a hundred and twenty years”.
Interestingly, this is the exact number of years God gave mankind to repent before he sent the flood. And it continues to be an important number in the count down to end time events for we are at the very end of the 120 years God gave Israel in which to bear fruit. And that time is nearly up. The fruit Jesus so desired to find on the fig tree is not there yet ….. but it is coming.
And the next time Jesus goes to the fig tree to find fruit, be assured…. he will find it.
Stand back and see our God at work! He’s coming soon!
*Thank you to Gary Stearman for his talk on this same subject although the thoughts shared here are my own. Thank you also to Dr. Del Tackett whose awesome teaching on “bearing fruit” in his Christian education series has given me much to think about …. and most of all to Jesus to whom I owe everything and without whose help I could not pen a word.
Yours truly and a brother from Hawaii whom I met at the conference. A Pastor at New Hope on Maui this guy traveled all the way from the islands just to be at the conference and I was tickled pink to meet some one from my previous home.
“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem they shall prosper who love thee” Psalm 122:6
Watching and waiting with YOU for the soon return of Jesus! Cindy